In WR 249 we reported the return of the ‘No War But The Class War’ group in response to the ‘war on terrorism’ and the first attacks on Afghanistan. As the basis of the group is opposition to war on a class basis, the ICC thinks that its re-appearance is positive and our militants have participated in the majority of NWBTCW’s London meetings. As in its previous manifestations NWBTCW contains all sorts of people. Some call themselves anarchists, some anti-capitalists, some communists and some who would resent any label being put on their views. This means there are a number of different approaches to the ‘anti-capitalist’ movement, to activism, and to political discussion. One thing that is shared by all NWBTCW participants is a rejection of the leftist campaign of the Stop The War coalition. In response Workers Power have attacked NWBTCW - at a meeting, in their November paper and in on-line discussion.
In the NWBTCW leaflet distributed at the 18 November Stop The War demonstration there is opposition to the leftist ideology of ‘anti-imperialism’ as it means giving support to capitalist regimes such as that of the Taliban, and leads into an anti-Americanism which writes off an important part of the working class. As the leaflet says: “That the left performs such a counter-revolutionary role does not surprise us - they are after all the left wing of capital”.
“This is sheer nonsense” says Workers Power. Their position is one of defending Afghanistan “without giving any political support to the Taliban”. This is what Trotskyists call ‘military support’, where workers and poor peasants are told they should die in the service of capitalism, without supporting the capitalists. The idea of ‘military support’ not being ‘political support’ is a completely false distinction in the face of the militarised class rule of the bourgeoisie. No faction of the ruling class is going to be upset that WP have withheld their ‘political’ support, just as long as workers are prepared to lose their lives in defence of their exploiters and oppressors. ‘Military support’ means military discipline against workers who struggle to defend their own interests. Workers Power preaches the unity of the classes for “a just struggle” in Afghanistan, against the class war on capitalism.
And the same applies in Britain. NWBTCW denounces the Stop the War coalition as a “cross-class alliance with religious leaders, MPs and other enemies of the working class”. WP thinks this is “startling” as they consider that it’s not necessary to be against capitalism to “defeat the government’s war effort”. But why do capitalism’s governments go to war? It’s in defence of their class interests. And it’s only by the working class becoming a conscious organised force to destroy the capitalist system that the imperialist war drive will finally be extinguished.
Workers Power condemns “the ridiculous alternative ... that the struggle against the war and the struggle against capitalism are one”. They attribute this view to ‘anarchism’, but in reality it is the view of marxism. In the First World War revolutionaries fought for the working class to turn the imperialist war into a civil war against the bourgeoisie - in contrast to the social democrats and anarchists who recruited for the war effort. In the Second World War revolutionaries defended the same perspective - in contrast to the Stalinists, Trotskyists, anarchists and anti-fascists who participated in the war drive of the Allied imperialisms. Today, revolutionaries are enthusiastic when people come together to discuss working class opposition to war and it’s only right that the Trotskyists of Workers Power should attack these efforts.